Background: Metastases to the breast occur rarely, but may be increasing in incidence as patients live longer with malignant diseases. The aim of this study is to characterize metastatic disease to the breast and to describe the management and prognosis of patients who present with this diagnosis. Methods: A retrospective review of our institution's pathology and breast cancer databases was performed in order to identify patients with breast malignancies that were not of primary breast origin. Chart review provided additional information about the patients' primary malignancies and course of illness. Results: Between 1991 and 2006, eighteen patients with metastatic disease to the breast of non-hematologic origin were identified and all had charts available for review. Among the 18 patients with disease metastatic to the breast, tissues of origin included 3 ovarian, 6 melanoma, 3 medullary thyroid, 3 pulmonary neuroendocrine, 1 pulmonary small cell, 1 oral squamous cell, and 1 renal cell. Overall mean survival after diagnosis of metastatic disease to the breast was 22.4 months. Treatment of metastases varied and included combinations of observation, surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Five patients (27.8%) required a change in management of their breast disease for local control. Conclusion: Due to the variable course of patients with metastatic disease, a multi-disciplinary approach is necessary for each patient with disease metastatic to the breast to determine optimal treatment. Based on our review, many patients survive for long periods of time and local treatment of metastases to the breast may be beneficial in these patients to prevent local complications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number74
JournalWorld Journal of Surgical Oncology
StatePublished - Jul 5 2007


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